Chair Covers and Sashes – can they be Vintage?

19 Jul 2011

Chair Covers and Sashes – can they be Vintage?

Vintage is a popular term when it comes to weddings. But what does it actually mean, and how does it apply to venue decoration? Kathryn King from Ambience Venue Styling shares her views..

Image gallery

Image gallery

I recently attended an amazing wedding fayre – vintage with a twist at Goldney Hall. It was a first for Goldney – they had never hosted a wedding fayre before; and a first for me – I’d never attended a specialist ‘vintage’ fayre before. I was really excited to see all the other exhibitors and meet all the lovely, stylish vintage brides. And I wasn’t disappointed.

The exhibition stands looked amazing. A really eclectic mix of all manner of dresses, props, china, makeup – all based around a vintage theme – beautiful!

When the brides started arriving a few came to chat, but nobody really seemed very interested in my lovely chair covers and sashes – everyone was very polite and said how pretty they were, but I didn’t get many warm leads. This led me to think:

“Can Chair Covers and Sashes be Vintage?”

The dictionary definitions of ‘vintage’ tend to centre on wine (never a problem for me!), but my favourite definition (in relation to weddings and styling) is:

“representing the high quality of a past time”

That is perfect – the idea that we all look to the past with slightly rose tinted spectacles and hark back to by-gone eras, which evoke a sense of quality, style, glamour even simplicity. To me, that’s what vintage is all about.

The keyword in my opinion is “representing”. It doesn’t have to be a slavish copy of the past, but a representation of what that past evokes in us. The ideas of what these past eras were like, will have come from a range of sources - grandparents, family members, old films, TV and magazines, and all will have been interpreted by us to create our own individual idea of what vintage means. I spoke to an events organiser recently who was organising a 60th Wedding Anniversary party (60 years - they really deserved a party!) and was very excited at the prospect of recreating their wedding with ‘afternoon tea’, ‘vintage crockery’, ‘summer flowers’, ‘cake stands’. But when she suggested all these things to the happy couple, they simply said “oh, that’s not what it was like at all!”

So, is ‘vintage’ simply an idea that we all mould to our own perceptions of the past? I think so. The fact that chair covers weren’t ‘en vogue’ in the 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s doesn’t really matter.

In that case, I think chair covers can be vintage – or at least enhance a vintage wedding theme. Choosing the right colours, the right fabrics and the right styling can make all the difference. Bows don’t have to be bows; sashes don’t have to be plain; and subtle covers and sashes can provide the perfect backdrop against which to showcase amazing vintage china, flowers, cakes and props.

In fact, I am very excited that a wedding I dressed recently at Goldney Hall in Bristol with a vintage theme is currently being featured in the August issue of Cosmo Bride!

So, can chair covers be vintage? Well, if Cosmo says they can...who are we to argue?

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